Imagine waking up wondering whether your dad will beat you because he’s drunk. Imagine having to control every little thing you do – the grades you get, who you hang out with, the way you walk, etc. – because if they’re not perfect, your mom will ridicule you for being stupid, dumb, and worthless. Imagine living completely alone in a rundown apartment without food, water, or love.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month – so please, do something to help children suffering from this horrible treatment. It can be as simple as asking a friend if everything is okay at home or donating through an online charity. Here is the official site for Child Abuse Prevention Month run by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – the site contains fantastic information and ways to get involved.
To show the extent of this issue, here are some troubling statistics from 2007, taken from this site:
- Almost five children die every day as a result of child abuse.
- 90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way; 68% are abused by family members.
- About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, thus continuing the horrible cycle.
- The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2007 is $104 billion.
Besides spreading awareness, participating in events, and donating to charities, I plan to write a book about child abuse. I don’t know the story, the characters, or any of the details, really – but I want to write something that teenage victims can relate to. It’s one of my goals in life, and a reason why I try to improve my writing ability.